Title: Fallout 4
What I Think: Fallout 4 is an example of a developer doing what they do best and, in the case of Bethesda, that’s open-world RPG games with survival and turn-based-combat elements. The hype train for Fallout 4 was firing on all cylinders, partly because of the money thrown behind it and partly because of the success of Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas. Fallout 4 had a lot of expectations to live up to, and it fulfills them superbly. I won’t spoil any story elements, so it’s basically this: you’re chucked out into an inhospitable wasteland with only a jumpsuit, a pistol and a dog, and you have to become king of the people who strap barbecue grills to their arms, and dustbin lids to their chests, calling it armour. Or the leader of the fascist people in massive suits of power armour who have helicopters and miniguns. Or the absolute b****** faction that are complete scum, or the absolute angel faction who are useless and require you to do all the work. It’s a game about choice. Choose to do the main questline, or go off and conquer the wastelands. Choose to be the one bastion left of honesty and truth, or kill an old man, with a mini-nuke, for his hat.
The map is smaller than New Vegas and 3, but I like that, as it means there’s much less wandering about, wondering if that abandoned bus counts as a landmark on the map. It’s a lot less wacky than New Vegas, with very few things like the ‘Romani Ite Domum’ graffiti or the crashed UFO that you could see there. However, the enemies are a lot more unforgiving. In New Vegas you at least had a slight chance of defeating every enemy. In Fallout 4, there are enemies you just don’t f*** with and locations you stay away from- Swan the super mutant near Hubris Comics; the super mutants in Revere Array (unless you have power armour and a Fat Man on hand); Crazed Assualtrons near abandoned vaults; Gunner Plaza. However, the perk chart is much more streamlined and specific, so you can essentially be a cannibal immune to radiation from the very start if you sink enough points into endurance. I actually cared more about companions this time as they all provide beneficial perks. Piper gives you more experience for passing speech checks, Danse gives more damage to ghouls, MacCready gives you a better chance at getting headshots in V.A.T.S, etc.
Would I Recommend It?: The question is really “Do I prefer it to New Vegas?”. To be brief, yeah, I do. It’s less bloated and expansive than New Vegas, and much more detail is put into locations. However, I feel New Vegas had a bit more identity and character to it, whereas 4, while much more glossy and less prone to freezes and crashes, has less that really sticks with you and surprises you. There’s no moments like discovering the Brotherhood of Steel bunker by chance or seeing something strange on the horizon and investigating to discover it’s a town needing your help. Plus, there are super mutants everywhere. In New Vegas these tough opponents were pretty rare, and their only stronghold was Black Mountain. In Fallout 4, they’re everywhere- on farms, in towns, even guarding a water purification plant. It’s ridiculous, especially since they have suicide bombers and missile launchers. So unless they bug out or you are quick with a sniper rifle, it’s best to try and grind them down by getting one or two to follow you then mowing them down. Overall, however, Fallout 4 has taken up an unhealthy amount of time I probably should have spent studying, so I can guarantee it’ll keep you engaged and entertained as you discover the secrets of a new wasteland.
Words by Gabriel Rutherford